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NDhighlights #1330 Saturday, January 25, 2003 Edited by John

'Cusp'   Martina Hoffman  

For Strong Women

A strong woman is a woman who is straining
A strong woman is a woman standing
on tiptoe and lifting a barbell
while trying to sing "Boris Godunov."
A strong woman is a woman at work
cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,
and while she shovels, she talks about
how she doesn't mind crying, it opens
the ducts of the eyes, and throwing up
develops the stomach muscles, and
she goes on shoveling with tears in her nose.
A strong woman is a woman in whose head
a voice is repeating, I told you so,
ugly, bad girl, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,
ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,
why aren't you feminine, why aren't
you soft, why aren't you quiet, why aren't you dead?
A strong woman is a woman determined
to do something others are determined
not be done. She is pushing up on the bottom
of a lead coffin lid. She is trying to raise
a manhole cover with her head, she is trying
to butt her way through a steel wall.
Her head hurts. People waiting for the hole
to be made say, hurry, you're so strong.
A strong woman is a woman bleeding
inside. A strong woman is a woman making
herself strong every morning while her teeth
loosen and her back throbs. Every baby,
a tooth, midwives used to say, and now
every battle a scar. A strong woman
is a mass of scar tissue that aches
when it rains and wounds that bleed
when you bump them and memories that get up
in the night and pace in boots to and fro.
A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong
in words, in action, in connection, in feeling;
she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf
suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.
What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightning from a cloud.
Lightning stuns. In rain, the clouds disperse.
Only water of connection remains,
flowing through us. Strong is what we make
each other. Until we are all strong together,
a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid.

Marge Piercy 

Gill   allspirit  

This is from 'Sounds of Valley Streams - Enlightenment in Dogen's Zen'  Francis H. Cook

If Buddha nature is itself impermanent or impermanence, then it is
futile to hope for permanence in enlightenment; worse, the longing
only intensifies feelings of anxiety and sadness. For Dogen, the only
solution to the problem of impermanence is to realize its absolute
reality, and in the realization, to accept it unequivocally as one's own
life. This realization is at once both the acceptance of the reality of life
in its broader scope and the acceptance of oneself as a truly time-bound and perishable being. This means that realization is in part a matter of progressively grasping the reality of all things and in part a matter of accepting oneself as being that same reality, without regret, fear, resentment, or antipathy. Dogen's message seems to be that in this profound self-acceptance and self-understanding, one becomes free from impermanence even while remaining impermanent in a thoroughly impermanent world. Liberation, consequently, is not transcendence in the sense that one passes beyond, or literally escapes conditions, but rather consists in an absolute affirmation of the condition and in an unqualified acceptance of oneself as subject to the condition. As Martin Heidegger, the existentialist philosopher, said, authentic selfhood is not possible without radically confronting one's essential mortality. For Heidegger, as with Dogen, true selfhood comes from understanding what one is.

Gill   allspirit  

Vicki   NDS  

Recently nds was hit by spam. This led me to reflect on how my ego is spamming me all day long and I am letting it. Sometimes it sends me
multiple messages concerning my body. "You're're're used to be're fat......" And then the antispam starts
piping up...."you're not really's the're not really's the pants." Sheesh.

Who is monitoring this message board? Apparently I let just anyone
join. Some of the me's that have registered are downright insane and
some are decidedly silly. One keeps singing the words to American Pie as I ponder the meaning of life. Bye, bye, Miss American Pie...Bye, bye, Miss American Pie, Bye, bye, Miss American Pie.

One of the most ingenuous ways it slips past me is to pretend to be my friend. It wants to "help me" and in this way manages to fill my
inner board with redundancies such as, "You're not so bad, you're not so bad, you're not so bad." Of course, before long the flood has changed to posts of "so and so is worse than you, so and so is worse than you, so and so is worse than you." At times I vow to quit reading these posts made to my heart by my brain. The brain spam is a brain scam. Tom foolery. High jinks. And some is downright dangerous. Crucify him. Crucify him. Crucify him.

Actually, all spam is bad because it is coming from the depths of the
machine. Way, way down below is what we don't know. And what we don'tknow does hurt us...does hurt us...does hurt us.

There will never be a really good solution to the problem of
spamming. It can be seen for what it is, though. It is a monstrous attempt to modify reality, but reality has the final say....the final understanding.

The message board has a vital purpose and it should be taken care of
with an urge to understand how easy it is to get spammed and not even know it. Once you know it, you know a way to get rid of it.


Phoenix   Martina Hoffman   This is from an article 'Women & Sufism'
by Camille Adams Helminski. The whole article can be read at:

We need to stand together in the light. The way is opening in our own
time for greater recognition of equal partnership. We have much to learn from each other, and male and female need to recognize each other so that we can come to balance within ourselves as well as creating balance outwardly in the world. The male attributes of strength and determination also belong to women; the feminine attributes of receptivity and beauty also belong to men. As we look to the divine in each other, encouraging each other to rise to the fullness of his or her own divine nature, we push against our limitations until they dissolve and a gift unfolds. As we learn to witness the miracle of creation, a time comes when "wheresoever you look, there is the Face of God; everything is perishing except the One Face."

Gill   SufiMystic  

the muse of conscious awakening Martina Hoffman  

ernani187   thomasmerton  

A Zen parable:

Word had spread across the countryside about a wise and holy man who
lived in a small house atop the mountain. A man from the village had
a very serious problem, so he decided to make the long and difficult
journey to visit him. When he arrived at the house, he saw an old
servant inside who greeted him at the door. "I would like to see the
wise holy man," he said to the servant.

The servant smiled and led him inside. As they walked through the
house, the man from the village looked eagerly around the house,
anticipating his encounter with the holy man. Yet before he knew it,
he had been led to the back door and escorted outside.

He stopped and turned to the servant, "But I want to see the holy man. I've come a
long way and I have a very important question to ask him."

"You already have," said the old man. "Everyone you meet in life,
even if they appear plain and insignificant-- see each of them as a
wise and holy man. If you will do this, then whatever problem you
brought here today will be solved."

Thomas Merton added:

"The more one seeks 'the good' outside oneself as something to be
acquired, the more one is faced with the necessity of discussing,
studying, understanding, analyzing the nature of the good. The more,
therefore, one becomes involved in abstractions and in the confusion
of divergent opinions. The more the 'good' is objectively analyzed,
the more it is treated as something to be attained by special
virtuous techniques, the less real it becomes. As it becomes less
real, it recedes further into the distance of abstraction, futurity,
unattainability. The more, therefore, one concentrates on the means
to be used to attain it. And as the end becomes more and more
diffcult, the means become more elaborate and complex, until finally
the study of the means becomes so demanding that all one's effort
must be concentrated on this, and the end is forgotten... a devotion
to the systematic uselessness of practicing means which lead nowhere.
This is, in fact, nothing but organized despair: 'the good' that is
preached and exacted by the moralist thus finally becomes an evil,
and all the more so since the hopeless pursuit of it distracts one
from the real good which one already possesses and which one now
despises or ignores."

"The Way of Chuang Tzu" by Thomas Merton, New Directions Books 1965,
Introduction p. 23.

Jerry the nondual guy NDSNews  

Mind Over Matter is a Sunday section of the Times of India which, like this list, features a selection of interesting spiritual articles. Check it out:  

Dan Berkow   meditationsocietyofamerica  

There is no domination, and no submission, in this
mind of no parts.

Domination and submission are acted out on the stage
of life, by characters playing roles.

This mind of no parts has no role to play, and so
manifests all roles simultaneously.


Dan   Realization

In the death of any attempt, is peace.

I have been the attempt to know something.

With the death of that attempt, nothing
is known, or to be known.

Mother Earth And Her Luna
Martina Hoffman

The beauty of the feminine is flowering in our consciousness, an awakening to a whole other way of being. We are beginning to understand the importance of nurturing, connection, love, in deeper and deeper ways.

It is the softening of both genders as we begin the spiritual journey to
reclaim the balance that was lost in a forgotten past. It is the earth and
the sun in harmony, energies flowing together creating rain and growth, day and night, birth and death.

The snow was coming down a few days ago, a beautiful blanket, a settling of the feminine, her beauty calming, covering, nurturing.

There was male energy sweeping off a car and driving away. It was a woman.

There was female energy sitting in the window, looking out quietly,
peacefully, deeply appreciating the snow. Me.

Oddly, male and female energy are not necessarily gender related. There are women who need to find their feminine energy center as well as men.

But the dominance of male energy right now is appalling and it is mostly men doing it, no doubt.

We all need the balance that spiritual energy can give.

In the doorway to my meditation, as I begin to let go,  I pray for peace, pray for the nurturing feminine energy to come into me, fill me with loving attitudes and responses to people and situations in the world.

It is so hard now not to erupt with anger at what is going on, but we need now, more than ever, to find the softness within, the love to guide us through these very difficult times.

And I am talking about us. We need to work for peace in the world, and peace comes through healing energy, not killing.

Let it begin inside me, my own male energy, yielding to the nurturing
feminine energy that we all, men and women, need so desperately to find within ourselves.

Copyright 2002  by John MacEnulty
1/25/2003, St. Louis, MO

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From: 'The Inner Voice of Love' by Henri  J. M. Nouwen
Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply. You might be afraid of
the pain that deep love can cause. When those you love deeply
reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that
should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes
from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful. It is like a plough
that breaks the ground to allow the seed to take root and grow into
a strong plant Every time you experience the pain of rejection,
absence, or death, you are faced with a choice. You can become
bitter and decide not to love again, or you can stand straight in your
pain and let the soil on which you stand become richer and more able
to give life to new seeds.

The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because
of your love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and
deeper. When your love is truly giving and receiving, those whom you
love will not leave your heart even when they depart from you. They will become
part of yourself and thus gradually build a community within you.

Those you have deeply loved become part of you. The longer you live,
there will always be more people to be loved by you and to become
part of your inner community~ The wider your inner community becomes,
the more easily you will recognise your own brothers and sisters in the
strangers around you. Those who are alive within you will recognise those
who are alive around you. The wider the community of your heart, the
wider the community around you. Thus the pain of rejection, absence,
and death can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply the ground of
your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the
abundance of the fruit it will bear.
Eric Ashford   truevision

Untitled (Sun Behind House)  

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Nonduality: The Varieties of Expression Home

Jerry Katz
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